Artisan News caught up with Ozzy Osbourne‘s wife/manager Sharon Osbourne last Thursday (February 9) at The Grammy Foundation‘s annual Grammy Week preservation event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California and spoke to her about the current BLACK SABBATH drummer situation (see video below). When asked if Ozzy, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi have found a replacement for the band’s original drummer, Bill Ward, she replied, “You know, I don’t know. I honestly, honestly don’t know. It’s all up in the air. The one thing that is for sure is that SABBATH are in the studio with [producer] Rick Rubin and they are going on tour. That’s all I know. And Tonyis doing brilliantly well.”
Ward announced two weeks ago that he could not participate in the planned reunion of the band’s founding lineup without what he called a “signable” contract.
The other three members of SABBATH have already announced that they will move forward without Ward, with Ozzy‘s solo band drummer Tommy Clufetos rumored to be already in the studio with them.
The reunion of the original lineup was announced last November, along with a new album and tour. Iommi‘s current battle with cancer has put prospects for a full world tour in question at this point.
As previously reported, Bill‘s son Aron has gone online to defend his father. In a lengthy message posted at Facebook, Aron wrote in part, “The press is spinning this shitstorm to read as if my dad has quit. This is not true. The guys know that. That’s why they said the door is ALWAYS open. My dad hasn’t ‘declined’ playing with BLACK SABBATH or ‘threatened’ to pull out of this reunion.”
Addressing accusations that his father is being “greedy,” Aron wrote, “He is by no means greedy, man. If he was, he would have settled with whatever contract given him. It’s kind of obvious someone else is greedy . . . sadly, the current ‘SABBATH‘ statement reads as if someone would rather see the remaining members play in front of thousands of disappointed, confused and resentful fans then give my dad a dignified agreement.”
After defending his father against the “idiots slagging off my dad” — presumably fans not taking his side — Aron concluded with a message to SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Terry “Geezer” Butler, writing, “To Terry (my godfather), Ozzy (my friend when I was little) and Tony (towering hero), I hope that you will listen to your fans. They want all of you together. As YOU are BLACK SABBATH so is my Dad. I hope you guys can work it out.”